Did you know that the well-known English nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence a pocket full of rye, four-and-twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie” could have been a coded message used to recruit crew members for the notorious 18th-century pirate Blackbeard. His real name Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed…
I bit of sketching while watching TV (obviously with not great programme on!)
Last weekend we were in Paris. We went to the Palais Chaillot opposite the Eiffel tower to see an exhibition about Art Nouveau, but when we got there, we were told that the exhibition had been on 3 years ago…Big disappointment…. as on the internet the year of the advertised exhibition was not mentioned ! So as we were there, standing in front of ” la Cité de l’Architecture “, we got in to discover an amazing building with high ceilings and a fantastic view of the Eiffel tower.The figure standing in the foreground is me looking out of the window and admiring the amazing view well worth the trouble of getting to the wrong exhibition ! Plus the reflected light from the windows made an interesting subject for the painting.What you see on the walls and the right hand side are replica of pieces of masonry made of plaster.
From my sketchbook, ink drawing with wash of a Paris scene in the olden days inspired by a black and white vintage photo.
After an Autumn break, I am back with fresh new original paintings at the English Book Centre in Valbonne village. The paintings feature the shop and its beloved mascot Maggie the dog as well as Valbonne and its surroundings.
I was walking up the street of a Hampshire town early Autumn last year, when I saw these lovely scarecrows for sale just outside of a shop pavement. Not only did they look very cute and not at all scary ….but also not too expensive ! Would they frighten birds away in a field… that is another story. Anyway, I took several pictures of them and decided they would make a perfect subject for a painting.
This is my last day for the 7 day challenge with the WorldWaterColorGroup. I set out at the beginning to do a portrait every day inspired by cutouts from magazines or newspapers with one exception : today. This final one is a painting I did last year. As I was finishing this portrait it reminded me of the famous painting “Aristide Bruant” by Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, obviously just the scarf and the hat were the link…
I found this experience of daily painting very uplifting. I limited the size of each portrait by using my sketchbook with a maximum spread when both pages used of 26cm(10″)by 21cm(8″). Because of the relatively small size of each painting, it was feasible to sketch daily time wise. I enjoyed all the feedback and felt really part of a great community of artists family and friends. Big thank you to everyone for you support !
Today I chose to paint the extraordinary British actor Sir John Hurt who died last week.
Not only he was a remarkable actor but I thought an amazing portrait subject to paint. I did this sketch very loose with pencil and watercolour in my moleskine sketchbook.
I simply used today a 2B pencil and watercolour. I noticed that doing a wash on this Moleskine sketchbook, the paint stays longer on the surface compared to the cold pressed 300gr Arches watercolour paper for instance.The advantage is it leaves more time to move the paint around, a bit like on a cold pressed paper. The drawback is the paint once dried is more difficult to lift… I liked the imposing hat for this portrait !
Today I have decided to use a pentel brush pen to give a different feel to the sketch and paint bright colours. I really like to use black and white photos as they give you tonal values as well as more scope for your imagination.